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`A powerful tool in remote rural areas'

By G. Venkataramani



David H. Walker

CHENNAI, DEC. 16 . Community radio is a powerful tool to access remote rural communities and it can be effectively used to empower them to get more specific information in their own language.It is essentially a non-profit exercise dedicated to the service of a community, according to David H. Walker, Education Specialist of the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), an intergovernmental agency for promoting open and distance learning in Commonwealth countries, headquartered in Canada.

"Community radio can be effectively used in India to meet the United Nation's Millennium Development Goal by 2015. The community radio could meet the relevant needs of the rural communities, especially the disadvantaged in the remote areas. The country is progressing at such a pace that it would soon be connected well electronically. It should also resort to using the community radio as a powerful medium to reach the masses in distant places," he said in a recent interview.

Mr. Walker has initiated several innovative distance-learning programmes of COL and played a crucial role in advancing initiatives in 53 countries. He spent several years working on Canada-funded projects in the People's Republic of China developing educational technology systems and providing training.

He initiated a major programme called COL Media Empowerment (COLME), which develops creative media models to focus on critical areas such as basic education and HIV/AIDS.

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